Somehow, even after all the years of latent dormancy, three of the four original members of Autopsy can come back together and still rock it. It must be like riding a bike, as this incarnation of the long-thought-to-be-dead gore metal classic hasn't really missed a step relative to their other works.
I suppose it only makes too much sense to see Autopsy back together, since Chris Reifert declared Abscess on hiatus, and the man has to fill his days with something. There will always be a place in the community for a band like Autopsy, who fills the niche of destructive, blood-soaked, brutal imagery that metal's id has always represented.
Musically, "The Tomb Within" is much in the style of so many other grinding death albums. There aren't so much notes, chords or progressions so much as there is wanton distortion, screaming, anguished guitars and an impassioned, growling vocal wail. Any attempt at generating a groove is completely forsaken, and more crushing guitar and relentless percussion is added to the mix.
One of the things that's always amused me about songs like this is looking at the pure waveform of the song. There's no peaks and valleys to indicate changes in tempo or volume. There's just a block of unbridled sound coming to rattle your speakers.
On the five song EP, the themes stay fairly consistent, with the major variation being pace. While "Seven Skulls" is a high-speed, non-stop distorted fuzz-out, "Mutant Village" is a slow, non-stop distorted fuzz-out. That's about as far as musical creativity goes on "The Tomb Within."
"My Corpse Shall Rise" is the only song that really brings a discernable beat to the table, and the twisted guitar creates a nightmarish atmosphere that makes it the EP's most complete offering.
So, a new Autopsy EP, which I'm sure will lead to another full-length album at some point. In the meantime, you can pretty much guess what you're getting here.